New Movie Friday - American Cannibal, Diggers, Jindabyne, Stephanie Daley
This seems to be the week for studios and mini-majors to dump their languishing indie dramas onto the market, and the unsuspecting box office audience is the beneficiary. But first, the movies that will probably win the weekend box office.
The Invisible - It's teen-y. It's scary. It’s got a cute boy in the lead. I smell box office winner. Justin Chatwin, who looks like he could be the cut cutest of the Culkin kids, stars as a Nick, a promising high school student who is attacked and left for dead. But if he can find a way to solve his impending murder, he may be able to save himself before he dies.
American Cannibal - The promoter behind the Paris Hilton sex tape decided to create a reality show in which contestants were transported to a tropical island, starved and led to believe one of them would be eaten by the others. This movie documents from start to finish the "sadistic, shameless reality show they churn out… from throwaway pitch to manic auditions through the train-wreck production."
Banished - An action/comedy about Charlie Vespa, a skilled assassin who leaves his organization when he learns his wife is pregnant. Tragedy strikes, the leader of the organization hires a killer to destroy Charlie and "Vespa is left with nothing to live for but vengeance." I see the word comedy in the genre categories, but I don't see any in the film's description.
The Condemned - If you love the WWE's staged fights on television, why not pay to see them on the big screen. Actually, of all the big-budget movies released this week, this film's concept is the one I like the most. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin stars as a guy awaiting the death penalty in a corrupt (is there any other kind?) Central American prison. He's bought by an amoral (is there any other kind?) TV producer and flown to a remote island where he is thrust into a 10-person, fight-to-the-death battle. Think "The Most Dangerous Game" meets the UFC.
Diggers - A 1970s period piece starring indie über-cutie Paul Rudd as a slacker clam-digger (Rudd) who must deal with a threat to the family fishing business in the wake of his father's death. As lame as this description sounds, the movie is actually supposed to be super funny.
Fakers - A hustler owes $50,000 to a gangster and can't pay it off but stumbles across a lost sketch by a renowned artist. The only problem is he doesn't own it. So he decides to forge the drawing five times and sell it to five art galleries.
Jindabyne - Based on a short story by Raymond Carver, this murder mystery is set in a small Australian town where three men (Gabriel Byrne, John Howard, and Simon Stone) on a fishing trip discover an Aboriginal girl's dead body. Instead of reporting their discovery, they continue their trip as planned, but when they return home, Byrne's wife (Laura Linney) is horrified to by her husband's behavior.
Kickin It Old Skool - Jamie Kennedy plays a breakdancer who wakes up in the year 2006 after a 20-year coma. He's 32 going on 12 and desperate to revive his former breakdancing troupe.
Next - The Nic Cage hairpiece watch has issued another alert. The unarmed hairpiece can be spotted in a new movie tucked between Julianne Moore & Jessica Biel in a cheapo sci-fi thriller about a Las Vegas magician who can see a few minutes into the future gifting him with the wondrous ability to mack on girls, evade parking tickets and prevent devastating terrorist attacks. I guess these are the kind of movies you're forced to direct after you get arrested for trying to sell yourself for sex while dressed as woman. No judgment about the dressing-up-as-a-tranny-hooker fetish. But the film looks like it's gonna blow. Fun Fact: this movie is based on the 1954 short story "The Golden Man" by Philip K. Dick.
Sing Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace - "A group of guys who sang together in a college a cappella group reunite 15 years later to perform at a friend's wedding and discover how their lives have progressed -- and in some cases regressed -- since their college heyday." It's a comedy.
Snow Cake - Alan Rickman plays an ex-con who picks up a vivacious hitchhiker while driving through Ontario. "After the car is hit by a truck on the outskirts of her home town, Vivienne dies instantly. Shocked and stranded in snowbound Wawa, Alex is drawn to seek out Vivienne's mother (Sigourney Weaver), to talk to her in person about the fate of her daughter."
Something To Cheer About - When the Crispus Attucks High School boys' basketball team, located in the poorest section of Indianapolis, won the Indiana State Championship in 1955, they were the first all-black team to do so, which apparently makes this "a seminal event leading up to the civil rights movement of the 1960s." This documentary explains why.
Stephanie Daley - Hilary Brougher directs this thriller about a forensic psychologist (Tilda Swinton) investigating the case of a teenage mother (Amber Tamblyn, daughter of Russ) accused of hiding her pregnancy and murdering the child.
Ta Ra Rum Pum - Saif Ali stars as Avi, a famous racer who becomes a taxi driver after an accident, in this family comedy.